The idea of trying to improve the value of your home can be so overwhelming, especially if you watch television shows where the hosts are always doing big, grand projects.
But increasing your overall home value doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. You don’t need to add another room or do a complete renovation. By following just a few simple steps, you can dramatically improve the worth of your home and attract potential buyers.
Even if you’re not planning on selling your home, these steps can significantly increase your quality of life.
Clean The Clutter
Cleaning your home can have an exponential effect on its value to buyers. Few things turn a buyer off like a dirty house, while a clean house significantly attracts potential purchasers. Consider for a moment: if you had the choice between two identical houses, one clean and one cluttered, which would you pick?
Cleaning has several other specific advantages.
- It allows you to spot maintenance issues that are hidden behind junk. Clearing out boxes allows you to see that small leak with your water heater or that mold growing in the corner. Spotting these before they turn into big issues can save you massive amounts of money.
- A clean house is healthier for your family. Junk and dirt can cause allergens and bacteria to breed. By cleaning your home, you not only add value, you also create a friendlier space for your family.
“Starting with a couple hundred dollars on a few things could increase the value of your house by a few thousand dollars. People are surprised by that. It’s exciting. People think they have to put in a lot of money to see a big difference and they really don’t.”
The first, and perhaps simplest way to add value to your home is to simply freshen it up. It costs little to nothing and can have a dramatic effect.
Freshen Up That Curb Appeal
How much curb appeal does your home have? Remember, the front of your home creates a potential buyer’s first impression. If your home looks dingy and overgrown from the curb, it can create a negative feeling in a potential buyer. Spending time sharpening up your curb appeal can significantly increase the overall value.
As realtorRoger Voisinet says:
“People forget about their trees more than almost anything. It could really make a significant difference in the price. Nobody likes to spend money, but landscaping might even be the most important thing, even if owners have kept up the house.”
What are some simple ways to do this?
- Maintain your lawn and shrubbery. Overgrown bushes and grass are an immediate turnoff for buyers. Simply trimming your shrubs and cutting your grass can improve the look. If your lawn is dry or brown, spend some time nurturing it back to a fresh, green look. Planting flowers can also add some splashes of color.
- Freshen up your shutters and front door. If your shutters are faded and peeling, give them a fresh coat of paint. Same goes for your front door. A brand new front door can make a big difference.
- Power wash your house. Simply cleaning the exterior of your house can make an enormous difference, clearing away years of grime and giving your house a clean, fresh feel.
Here are some additional simple ways to improve your curb appeal:
Double Down On The Kitchen
The project with the greatest return is almost always going to be your kitchen. Because it’s the focus of so many family activities, few things matter more to potential buyers than the kitchen space.
There are some simple ways you can really improve the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank.
- Paint or refinish the cabinets. Even the most dated, ugly cabinets can receive new life with a fresh coat of paint. Another easy way to improve your cabinets is to replace the outdated hardware with something modern and clean.
- Add a tile backsplash. A backsplash is a simple, cheap way to give your kitchen a dash of color and class.
- Switch to stainless steel. Stainless appliances, faucets, and other items will give your kitchen a new, modern, clean look. This is significantly more attractive to buyers.
- Add a pot rack. A pot rack opens up the space in the kitchen and will immediately catch the buyer’s eye, particularly if you also add in a rolling island.
Renew Your Bathroom
Perhaps more than anything else, the bathroom needs to have a new, clean feel to it. Few things turn a buyer’s stomach more than a dingy bathroom. By making a few simple upgrades, you can cause the value of your home to surge.
- Install a luxury faucet. If your bathroom makes people feel like they’re in a spa, they’ll immediately be at ease. A luxury faucet is a really simple way to do that.
- Install granite countertops. While formica countertops are cheap, they don’t hold up well and look low quality. A granite or marble countertop is a wonderful way to make your bathroom inviting.
- Use wall mount lighting. Overhead lighting is harsh and creates a sterile feel. Use warm, wall mounted lights to generate a warm ambience in your bathroom.
- Replace frosted glass with clear.
- Clean the grout and remove any rust stains.
- Lay heated floors. Few things are more luxurious than heated floors.
Knock Out Some Walls
Open floor plans are all the rage these days. Taking out a few non-structural walls can give your home a feel of openness and space. This is a minor job that costs very little, but the payback in terms of home value can be significant.
Your goal should be to make the home feel less confined and tight. If there are narrow hallways, consider trying to open those up.
Let There Be Light
Adding light to your home immediately makes it feel more welcoming. There are numerous ways to do this, including:
- Dimmer switches that allow you to increase the light or cut it down for ambience.
- Sun tubes, which let in natural light but are cheaper than cutting out skylights.
- More windows. Admittedly, this is more expensive, but the results can be dramatic. If you have any broken panes, immediately repair those.
A dark house feels cut off and dank. Letting in light immediately increases the overall value.
Make sure to stay away from harsh lighting, like overhead fluorescent lights.
Here are a few more tips for brightening up your home:
Add Green Options
More and more, buyers want energy friendly housing solutions, such as solar panels, energy saving air conditioners, pellet stoves, and other money savers.
The installation of these items can represent huge savings for potential buyers. If they know they’re going to save thousands every year in energy costs, they’re more willing to spend up front on purchasing the house.
This is especially important for the future. If you hope to sell your home in five years, install green options now.
Improve Those Floors
Floors are one of the first things people notice when they enter a house. If you’ve got orange carpeting, that’s where their eyes will go. There are some very simple ways to improve your floors and thus improve the value of your house.
- Patch any bits of broken tile.>
- Nail down any squeaky boards and repair any damaged ones.
- Refinish wood floors.
- Rip out wall-to-wall carpeting and install laminate.
Making these small improvements can bring back almost a 100% ROI.
Improving your home value doesn’t require months and thousands of dollars. You don’t need to be a home renovation expert or have your own reality television show. In fact, most of these home improvements are relatively small and can be done for a few hundred dollars.
Even if you don’t want to sell your home, there is value in making these changes. They can dramatically increase the beauty of your home and quality of life you experience.
It’s an oft-repeated cliche that home is where the heart is. If that’s true, isn’t it worth a bit of time and money to make that home as nice as possible?